Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Surf's Up!

Even though I'm having a blast covering politics, I sometimes miss the adrenaline rush from being on a breaker.

When the nearly 100 year old water main running under Sunset Boulevard gave way a couple weeks ago, I got pulled to cover it.

That made for a nice change of pace. As much as I do enjoy working a story with a little more substance. . .

. . .the parts of my job where I get to see events up close, can be exciting.

On the drive over the hill, I expected there to be more traffic, but the streets heading to the problem spot were all pretty clear. Even the traffic barricades weren't a big deal and I got waved through at two checkpoints meant to divert the public.

That felt real "cowboy" and then I managed to get a great position where we went live for a couple of hours as DWP worked to get the water shut off.

It was a warm day and the gusher shooting up in the air made a fine mist that actually helped keep us cool.

I am so glad it was a water main that broke and not a sewer main.

By night, the water was almost completely off, but we were still out on Sunset doing live shots through the 11pm newscast.

It was an interesting and exciting day. I'm glad I still get those from time to time. I'm actually concerned that I've seen so much and covered so many stories that I'm going to get bored with what I do.

Nice to be reminded that there's always something new to see.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Orange is the New Choice

I'm sitting at a crossroads again. I say, again, because before I became most of what I am now (a news photographer), I dabbled and showed some promise at being a writer and/or a still photographer.

Still photography will always be a hobby (wait, what?) and I have no regrets there, but writing, now that would have made for an interesting alternative.

This past weekend, my lovely wife and I visited the Robert Berman Gallery for a reception and showing of a man who actually is a still photographer.

Sorry for the blurry shot (Ha-ha, not really, I like blurry shots), but that older guy in the middle of the frame is a photographer. That's Murray Garrett.

Murray Garrett made a career out of being a celebrity photographer. I don't think you'd call him a papparrazzi. My understanding is that he was mostly invited into the lives of stars in order to take pictures.

Invited because he was a classy guy who wasn't out to make anyone look bad. He had integrity and I assume discretion about his subject matter.

Well, seeing the work of Murray Garrett reminded me how much I missed my own modest artistic endeavors.

Work days have been filled with less opportunities to shoot. I still love my news job and being assigned to the political beat, I'm even happier than I was when every assignment was a new adventure. I find the work is more of a challenge and my focus is actually required.

In the course of my day, I have little time to point and click and even less time to string together a sentence or more.

But there's hope.

Tthere is potential in my life to carve out more of an opportunity to do those things which I had put aside.

Having squandered decades of time on trivial matters (raising a family and earning a living), I find myself in the very cool position of having enough (for now) of most of what I need.

My bills are paid and I seem to even have a small, but glorious amount of time. So, the questions regarding who I want to be, could possibly finally diffinitively maybe be answered.

That's what I'm thinking about this morning.

Every time I've found myself at this particular crossroads, I made the decision to follow the route that was lined with steady pay, good benefits and surprisingly few holidays off.

In my opinion, my choices have been pretty spectacularly awesome and have worked out mostly in my favor.

(Say what you want about my orange tie, I chose it because I knew it would make my wife happy.)

Well, that's enough rambling for one morning. In my melodramatic way, I was just trying to get the idea across that I'm feeling the urge to do more writing. Not just blogging, not just dabbling at screenplays, but honest to goodness dedicating my life to being a writer (slash) news photographer instead of a news photographer (slash) writer (slash) everything else that I do that makes it more difficult for me to be a writer.

I described my life as being at a crossroads.  A precipice metaphor might be the better image.

The seventeenth of October is not just a date on the calendar.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014